How To Find Peace In Your Imperfections

Hello Loves!

This week has been super crazy with work and school and my boyfriend visiting and I forgot to post this guest post by the lovely Molly Shaffer. So I’ll step aside and let her take over the blog today.

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For over three decades, I’ve struggled with self-hate. So much so that I couldn’t stand to see the woman staring back at me in the mirror. The world said I had to change in order to be beautiful. My face, without makeup, was not beautiful. The stretch marks that etched across my body were not beautiful. The cellulite, pimples, smile lines, and God knows how many other countless flaws, were not beautiful. In fact, there was nothing redeeming about me, and beautiful was a word meant for other people, not someone as broken as me. Lies!

This past year, the infamous 2016, was my year of self-growth. My New Year’s Resolution was different from my past ones, the ones where a number defined my life. In 2016, I made the resolution to become healthy: mind, body, and soul. Little did I know that uttering those words would send me on the most gut-wrenching journey of my life. A year of pain, growth, and ultimately, the beginnings of self-love…truly, honestly, lasting self-love.

How did I do it? How did I go from an inability to stare at my own reflection to becoming my own champion? Faith, quiet time, and most importantly, banishing the negative thoughts that were at war in my head. It took a lifetime to hate myself, and a year to come to peace, but it will take a daily commitment to choose love, in order to make lasting changes in my life. This is how you begin the process. This is where change resides. Not in a miracle pill or fad diet, but in rewiring your brain. Realizing that weight is truly just a number, but health runs much deeper than beauty ever will.

 

Step 1: Recognize the lies

One morning, I woke up ready to start a brand new day. I had a song in my head and a smile on my lips, but one step in front of the mirror, and my entire mood changed. Like a light switch turning off in my head, I felt the negativity creep in. My hair was in disarray, and my mascara smeared under my eyes, creating dark circles that would make a raccoon envious. I sat at my vanity, my head in my hands, and I cried. What happened to that strong woman from a second ago? Where did the warriorNowherewhere. She was inside me at that very moment. I had silenced her with a lie.

I picked up my head, and forced myself to look in the mirror. My eyes watered, but I refused to look away. I stared until my face blurred, and I ignored the menacing voice in my head…the liar. Slowly, ever so slowly, I began to make out an image. A cute button nose and full lips. Finally, a positive thought. I liked my nose and my lips. I ran with these thoughts, and as soon as the liar emerged once again, I had a weapon. Sure my eyebrows need to be shaped, but have you seen my nose. Damn, that’s a good nose. I took that first step, which lead to two more, and then, I was running.

 

Step 2: Find a Mantra

The negativity had defined me for far too long. The time had come to find my life quote…the one I could use to defeat the enemy…my war cry. I read through scripture until I came across the verse that spoke to my soul. Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ.” I had read this verse many times before, but for some reason it held a new meaning for me. I can do anything. Anything. Give up the bad habits. Strengthen my body and soul. Heck, I could even love myself. Why not? My life verse echoed…all things. The key word being all. I can do this. I will do this.

You may not be religious, and that is okay. Find your life verse. The verse that clings to you, or better yet, the verse you cling to. You’re going to need it, because the liar is strong in you. You’re going to need a mantra to defeat that cycle of abuse. Find your verse, memorize it, and repeat it until it sticks. Over and over again, like a song on repeat. You can do this.

 

Step 3: Phone a Friend

I have an accountability partner. Her name is Jessica, and she is my sister from a different mister. There are moments that I feel we are the same person in different bodies. Kindred souls thousands of miles apart. It’s kind of freaky how well we mesh. The best part, I can be real with this woman, and she doesn’t judge me. She pours truth into my life, refuses to sugar coat my failures, or accept my excuses. She isn’t harsh in her redirections. I don’t need a drill sergeant. I need a friend. Someone I can cry out to and laugh with. Jessica is that friend to me.

My journey will not work if I try it alone. I can talk myself into some stupid mistakes. “Go ahead, girl, you deserve a slice of that chocolate cake…no, you deserve the whole cake.” So, before I make a bad choice, I text Jessica. She either affirms my madness, or gently redirects me. Find your Jessica. She’s out there.

 

Step 4: Give Yourself Grace

You’re going to screw up. It’s inevitable. The best thing you can do when you muck everything up, is to realize you haven’t really mucked everything up. Stand up, dust off your bum, and get back on course. So you failed: who cares? That’s part of the process. Don’t slit your other three tires because you have a flat (I love that analogy). Give yourself the same grace you would give to your best friend, because after all, you need to begin seeing yourself as your best friend.

 

Step 5: Perfect isn’t Real

For most of my life, I sought perfection, until recently. I read this amazing book, Present Over Perfect, and I had an epiphany. Perfect is cold. Perfect is plastic. Perfect isn’t real. I want warm, comfortable, snuggly, and sometimes that comes with messy, flawed, and blemished…and that’s okay.

The price I paid for perfection is profuse. I spent countless hours inspecting my physique, holding myself to severe standards, and beating myself up when I didn’t reach the unattainable. Sound familiar? It’s the anthem of our world. Kill yourself so others will love you. Well, I say, love yourself and kill the negativity. Once you can see the lies you’ve believed about yourself are just that…lies…you can begin to speak truth into your soul. That’s where real transformation begins, and I’m here to tell you, life on the other side is great!

 
If you’d like to read more about my journey to self-love, visit my website: www.mollyshaffer.com. I’ll be the one with the love of words. The messy chick with a crooked grin. But guess what, I’ll be the one smiling!

Loving Who God Made You To Be

Hello there lovelies!

Today we have a guest post from my friend Cori. She was one of the first people to volunteer to write a blog post for this new blog post series I wanna do throughout the year and I LOVE what she has to say.

I hope you all receive some encouragement from this lovely gals words of wisdom.

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Well, it’s a new year again and our social media is filled with “New year new me” posts and new years resolutions that will last a couple of weeks.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with trying to better yourself, but when its all about me, me, me I think we might just be missing the point. My resolution is to grow closer to Christ and to love who He made me.
        The world tells us that it is all about you. You do you. You only live once. I agree to make the most of your life but when your life revolves around you and you only that isn’t exactly what God has planned. God tells us to live humbly and to always put your neighbor before yourself. He tells us to give a homeless man the clothes off our backs if he doesn’t have any. He tells us to pray for our enemies and love them no matter the harm they’ve caused you.  That may not be very easy, but that is what we are called to. There is a difference between loving who God made you and being a self centered jerk
        Now my life hasn’t been that easy. I was sexually abused, I’ve harmed myself and did for many years, and I even attempted suicide. Growing up I’ve had major self esteem problems.  I would look at myself in the mirror and hate everything about my reflection. I would cry at night because I wasn’t good enough for society or even myself. It wasn’t until recently, actually, that I realized  I wasn’t living how God had planned. It took a mental hospital being waved over my head for me to finally get my act together.  My point is this: God made you who you are for a reason and you are perfectly and wonderfully made. He planned out every inch of you, beautifully, inside of your mother and God, the God of the universe, does not make mistakes. (Psalms 139:13-18)
        Now I pray that in this new year you learn to love yourself for who God made you. Not for what the world wants you to be. Serve your Lord with all your heart soul and mind and love every bit of yourself because the creator of everything there ever was and is to come made you and that is pretty amazing if you think about it.
    Now I still deal with all of these things today. I am not saying that life is gonna be a bundle of joy on a sunny day. Life sucks, there’s no other way to put it, but it is so much easier to have hope and to love who God made you to be then to dwell on things and to try to be this perfect person society makes the standard out to be. You will never be perfect. You will never be “Good enough” , but you know what? That’s why Christ died for us. So that in Him we are good enough and always will be. God doesn’t look at us for all the bad things we have done.  He looks at us as perfect, just as He made us perfectly.

“Lord help me to love who You made me to be. Help me serve you in any way that i can in this new year. I pray that in the new year i grow spiritually and grow to love others more than myself, thank you for all these blessings, i pray that my self esteem will be high this year. In your name I pray , Amen.”

Yours Truly,
Cori Heck

2017

Hello lovelies!

Sorry I haven’t posted at all this month life has been crazy and all over the place but I’m hoping to explain some of that here and my post plans for the new year!

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So the new year has come and gone and its almost February! Like what?! My apologies on the lack of posting. I’ll explain why, but hopefully there wont be so many apology posts this year due to lack of posting. Part of the reasons is I don’t feel like apologizing anymore.

Not that I don’t love you lovely readers or that I don’t care but in the past I’ve missed posting and torn myself down for it. I don’t want to be doing that anymore so my blogging is going to be a little more relaxed this year.

I have a goal to try and write one blog post a week on top of my busy schedule but at the same time I don’t want to beat myself up every time I don’t post! The reason being because I started blogging because I had (and have) things to say and it was fun to express it in that way. My passion and love for my blog hasn’t changed but with my more busy schedule this year, posting will be less frequent for sure as I have other things that (sadly) hold a higher priority over blogging.

WITH THAT SAID! I still have some exciting things for this blog. So lets talk about exciting things because I’m not stopping posting entirely! Just gotta adapt my blog schedule to my busy life.

On the blog this year I want to turn this around from a book review blog (as I started to do when I changed the name) to more of a personal, thought sharing, encouragement blog. There will still be book reviews or discussions on my writing and music and stuff every once in a while for sure but not as often.

I want to focus on not only encouraging and building up you guys but also growing myself in the process. I would argue that self-love and self-care for women is especially hard and I’m seeing that more and more each day. I personally am tired of looking in the mirror and calling myself ‘good enough’ or not liking what I see at all and I want to change that. This year I want to go on a journey to change how I feel about myself and my body and take time to grow closer to God.

Spend more time doing life. And I want to encourage others through this process.

To help me kick this off I have asked some wonderful people (girls and guys alike) on my Facebook page and twitter to help me out and guest post for me. (if you wanna join in too, contact me!) Speak whats on their hearts. Tell me about their struggles and what they are doing to turn those into positivity, self-love, and growth!

On top of that I already have a lot of exciting things in my life in 2017 that I can’t wait to share as they happen!

 

Hope to see you around and that you benefit from this journey as much as I.

 

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Scars to your beautiful

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful, it’s true

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Recently I heard the song ‘Scars to your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara on the radio. I’ve really grown fond of her because her music is not dirty, inappropriate crap about sex and drugs..and then when I heard her song Scars To Your Beautiful, I had a new appreciation for this music artist.

I was so happy to hear an artist speak out about this ever growing issue of society making women (and men) insecure about their bodies and who they are as a person.

What I love about people is when they’re just being themselves and not worrying about what they look like.” is a quote from the commentary in the music video (shared below) and it couldn’t be more true. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who is just being themselves. Fully and completely themselves.

 

Its a beautiful thing.

 

Now I’m not saying its easy to forget comments made to you about how you look or what people think. Especially if those comments have been negative or you are a people pleaser like me. Its hard to put the negative or your insecurities out of your mind…Especially when people seem to be brutally honest these days and say whatever they feel whether its true or not…

 

And society is essentially bipolar. It really is.

When it comes to who you are and should be and how you should look and act, society is always changing its ideas.

 

Its unpredictable and constantly changing.

 

Something I’m still learning is to realize that its okay to be me and that I’m beautiful the way I am. And that if people don’t like it, then it doesn’t matter because then they never really cared for who I am as a person.  Its a long hard process to put aside all my insecurities and things people have said to me about my size/body in the past but things are moving in a positive direction for me. Its slow but its there. So know that even though you are trying to love yourself for who you are and it feels like you are going nowhere, know that it takes time. By not loving yourself, you are hating and hurting yourself.

Healing takes time and thats ok.

Think on that and also I hope you are encouraged by the words of this song and what the people in the video have to say. I know I was.

 

 

“Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara

She just wants to be beautiful
She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits,
She craves attention, she praises an image,
She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor
Oh she don’t see the light that’s shining
Deeper than the eyes can find it
Maybe we have made her blind
So she tries to cover up her pain, and cut her woes away
‘Cause covergirls don’t cry after their face is made

But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

She has dreams to be an envy, so she’s starving
You know, “Covergirls eat nothing.”
She says, “Beauty is pain and there’s beauty in everything.”
“What’s a little bit of hunger?”
“I could go a little while longer,” she fades away
She don’t see her perfect, she don’t understand she’s worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface
Ah oh, ah ah oh,
So to all the girls that’s hurting
Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer
The light that shines within

There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

No better you than the you that you are
(no better you than the you that you are)
No better life than the life we’re living
(no better life than the life we’re living)
No better time for your shine, you’re a star
(no better time for your shine, you’re a star)
Oh, you’re beautiful, oh, you’re beautiful

There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful